What are the greatest concerns facing believers today? Persecution?…ISIS? Is it an unstable economy? Is it the splintering of families? Is it the redefining of what family is? Is it a lack of education? Well, you’re getting closer…
How many of you know who Demas was? Ever heard of him? He is only mentioned three times in Scripture (Colossians 4:14 – written in about 61 AD, Philemon 24 – written in about 64 AD, and finally in II Timothy 4:10 – written in about 66 AD).
Apparently Demas had been a vital part of Paul’s ministry and evangelism, at least up until the writing of Paul’s last letter to Timothy. Demas was useful to Paul in the kingdom’s work…BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED…!! Demas epitaph for all of history will read, “…for Demas, having loved this present world has deserted me…” We don’t remember Demas’ work for the LORD, we remember his defection from it. Demas’ enduring example has been repeated millions of times.
Someone once said, “God will forgive you if you start serving Him late in life, but He won’t forget if you stop serving Him early.”
The problem? I heard a man say once that most believers are a mile wide, but only an inch thick. Hmmm. Too many let the world dictate to them how they should live. Whatever happened to “following Jesus WHEREVER HE GOES?” Perhaps this old hymn rarely sung anymore sums up the issue adequately:
Jesus call us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, Saying “Christian, follow Me.”
Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us, Saying, Christian love Me more.
Paul implied that Demas loved the present world more than he loved God. That present world is not just the world of Paul’s day, but it implicates the world system which is the present world of all people of all generations. You have to make a choice. You either serve God and be the church He desires or you get lost in the world system as Demas did. The hard times and the bad times are just part of God’s plan of growing you up. Neglecting the church or running away from it, doesn’t accomplish anything. It just leaves you “an inch thick.”
The church, of course, is not perfect, but she does serve a perfect LORD. Where else can a person go to receive comfort, assurance, encouragement, education, training for righteousness, basic information needed for life, and on and on. Yet, many jump ship and break relationships with the very entity which offers help. I’ve heard every excuse in the book about not attending church and not being a servant in the church…from…the church is not relevant… to… the church takes up too much of my time…from…there’s nothing going on there…to… I’m suffering burn-out…
Excuses…the only legitimate reasons I’ve heard for not being a part of the church is sickness and employment…
I could offer you a variety of statistical information to support what I’ve written, but you can do that yourself. What I do offer is love, instruction from a pure heart, wisdom for life’s challenges, and GOING DEEPER.
The number one song of 2014 was written and sung by the ministry of Hillsong, it is entitled, Oceans. Here is part of the lyrics:
Your grace abounds in deepest waters Your sovereign hand Will be my guide Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me You've never failed and You won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.
Will you go into the deep waters with me…Jesus is there!
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